Friday, June 13, 2008

I sold my soul for an iPod

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I sold my soul for a black 80GB iPod Classic.

Well... sort of.

I only sold part of my soul... 18 pages to be exact... and, according to the contract - "only until December 31, 2011". That is when my work becomes mine again... instead of "Property of L. Pub.".

The trade-off? Enough to have covered the purchase of the aforementioned iPod... as well as the purchase of a sweet Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro Zoom lens that I've had my eye on. Oh - and some CDs too.

And I feel like crap about it.

Why?

I sold my soul... and I didn't even want to.

Accepting that commission was not something I wanted to do. It's sort of "anti" what I wanted to do. It's sort of "against everything I ever wanted to do" with my writing. But I couldn't say "no" to the friends who were pushing me to do it. So I did it. Very reluctantly.

I'm in no way implying that the "blame" belongs to anyone other than myself... for I am the one who ultimately made the decision! That decision... however... was heavily influenced by my own self-induced fear and anxiety of the possibility of letting down those who really felt that I should do this thing.

And so... one year later... I've received two free copies of the finished book... and a check. And I hate it.

I hadn't read the article since the day I sent the file to the publisher. In fact... I planned to never read it again. But now... with the finished book in front of me... I couldn't help myself! I re-read it... And I feel worse!

It's nothing of what I submitted. The "feeling" isn't there. It's mixed up and forgotten. Important elements aren't there anymore... and non-important ones seem to have "appeared" out of nowhere.

And they spelled my freakin' name wrong!

But I'm trying to view it as my own overly-critical self-review... and abandon it. So I read the rest... and the book sucks ass. Yes... there are several very good articles in there... but overall, the book sucks ass. And it's definitely NOT an "almanac"... so why do they even include the word? Why not just call it "a collection of essays" or "writings from the Pagan Community" or something like that? Why even bother adding a calendar and calling it an "almanac"?

Still... Holly sees the silver lining in such things. At a Barnes & Noble in Massachusetts she pulls a copy of the book from the shelf... opens to my article... and says "THAT is so cool!" - then takes it to go brag to her mom.

But I sold my soul for those 15-nano-seconds of celebrity... and the knowledge that it wasn't something I wanted to do just makes it sting even more.

But I did get my new iPod out of the deal...

And I will be getting my new lens...

So I sold my soul for a black 80GB iPod Classic... and a future lens.

And I abso-freakin-lutely LOVE that iPod! Though I must admit that every time I pick it up I see that article... and that contract. I try not to view it as something "bad"... but rather as a "reminder"... a reminder of what not to allow myself to do in the future. I did something I've spent over 15 years saying I would NEVER do... now I must make sure that I do not make that mistake again.

So I pick up the iPod... turn the click-wheel to browse through the more than 500CDs that are already on there... stop at one... turn the volume up to the max... and pound the sound into my brain - like an emotional cilice.

(God I hope this works!)

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I miss the Florida rain...

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Last night while lying in bed... listening to the rain and the distant roll of thunder... watching the lightning flashes as they illuminated the room - I suddenly realized an overwhelming feeling...

"I miss the Florida rain".

Florida rain - for those of you who do not know - is a natural wonder in and of itself. For starters, it tends to be "bigger" than New England rain. Bigger... Faster... Heavier.

Florida rain can come out of nowhere... and disappear before you even realized that it was there.

Florida rain can be falling in your front yard... while Florida sun warms your back yard.

Florida rain can fall on your neighbor's driveway... upon his freshly washed car - while you play basketball in your driveway - completely dry.

Florida rain can stop you in your tracks... and force you to pull off to the side of the road because you can't see a damn thing.

Sometimes Florida rain comes... and an hour later no hint of it remains. No puddle in the driveway. No soaked lawn. Nothing but heat mirages rising off asphalt in the distance.

But none of that is the point here.

I miss Florida rain.

I miss sitting in my garage during a rain storm... with the door open... and my HUGE Memorex dual cassette bass boosting boom box pouring out old Iron Maiden or Metallica...

I miss sitting on the ledge of my oversized bedroom window during a storm... letting the wind blow in the occasional cold drop of rain... as I watched the lightning strikes in the distance... and sat with a notebook and a thousand poetic thoughts...

I miss being caught in the rain while out on my bike... and still have two or three miles before I'd get home. The coldness of a soaked shirt clinging to me... and the sting of rain hitting my face as the whirling tires of my 10-speed parted puddles like Moses...

I miss sitting in an abandoned U-Haul trailer deep in the palmetto and pine "forest" that bordered our sub-division... listening to the rain rattle on the roof... watching drops run along the web of the huge argiope spider who owned the place...

I miss walking the long trail beneath the power lines - perhaps not the smartest place to be during a Florida rain storm - but I didn't care. The openness... the beauty of the sky... the hum of the towers... the pounding of rain hitting sandy-grass-ground...

the solitude.

There... that's it...

the solitude.

I miss the solitude of Florida rain...

I miss the quiet contemplation amidst something so much bigger than anything I had to deal with myself...

I miss the comfort of that.

I miss the Florida rain.

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